winter battle on witebsk 43-44

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caraqchi71
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Location: italy

winter battle on witebsk 43-44

Post by caraqchi71 » 04 Mar 2006 22:26

Hello to all
Currently i’ am tryng to collect as many informations as possible
About the german 3th Pz. Army in the fight around Witebsk (no-
Vember 1943- marz 1944):.
I have only general overwiew, but no information about russian
Order of battle, forces, losses in both sides, exacy daa of fights ect.
Even particular actions are welcomes
Hope that someone could help me
Carlo

Larry D.
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Re: winter battle on witebsk 43-44

Post by Larry D. » 05 Mar 2006 00:00

caraqchi71 wrote:Hello to all
Currently i’ am tryng to collect as many informations as possible
About the german 3th Pz. Army in the fight around Witebsk (no-
Vember 1943- marz 1944):.
I have only general overwiew, but no information about russian
Order of battle, forces, losses in both sides, exacy daa of fights ect.
Even particular actions are welcomes
Hope that someone could help me
Carlo


For that level of day-to-day detail, you will need:

NARA WashDC
Record Group 242
Microcopy T-313 (Records of Panzer Armies)
Rolls 263 - 275

These 13 rolls contain Pz.AOK 3's Ia KTB und Anlagen and Ic/AO reports and records for Oct 42 through Jun 43. Go here to place your order:

http://www.archives.gov/research/order/ ... .html#cost

13 rolls x $68.00 = $884.00 (735,00 EUR).

Alternative: get on a train and go to the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg im Breisgau where you can work with the original paper documents. Cost: train fare, accomodations and food for one week = 750,- to 850,- EUR.

--Larry

caraqchi71
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Joined: 28 Jul 2004 20:11
Location: italy

hi

Post by caraqchi71 » 17 Dec 2007 20:45

no more?

Art
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Post by Art » 23 Dec 2007 13:29

Well, Krivoshee gives the following information on the Soviet forces engaged in operations in the area of Vitebsk-Orsha and their losses:

Nevel-Gorodok operation. 6th October - 31th December 1943. Kalinin (later became 1st Baltic Front) with 3rd and 4th Shock, 11th Guards and 43rd Armies, 3rd Air Army. Initial strength - 198 000. The losses amounted to 43 551 dead and missing and 125 351 wounded and sick.

Orsha operation, 12th October - 2nd December, 1943. West Front with 10th Guards, 5th, 21st, 31st, 33rd, 49th, 68th Armies, 1st Air Army. Initial strength - 310 900, losses - 24 553 dead and missing, 79 867 wounded and sick.

Vitebsk operation. 3rd February- 13th March 1944, West (5th,33rd,39th and 1st Air Armies) and 1st Baltic (4th Shock, 11th Guards, 43rd Armies, 3rd Air Army) Fronts. Initial strength - 436 180, losses - 27 639 dead and missing, 107 373 wounded and sick.

There was a whole series operations in the Nevel-Vitebsk-Orsha region, unfortunately it's a typical forgotten battle, there is no comprehensive description and existing ones in the secondary sources are very scattered and incomplete.

konev
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Post by konev » 23 Dec 2007 22:58

Gents,

I believe David Glantz's "Forgotten Battles" volumes No. 5 and No. 6 do cover some parts of the fighting. in the Vitebsk region during the period.

They are self-published. I think he's off-line right now, but he does have someone selling his material.

Go to mastereuropa.com and check there.

Regards,

konev

Art
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Post by Art » 24 Dec 2007 12:56

Thanks for that, konev. Now an extract from the infamous report of the GKO comission that inspected the West Front in April 1944. As it's known the harsh measures were taken after the report was submited and apporved by the GKO on 12th April, a number of high-ranking officers including the front commander general Sokolovsky being dismissed.
I. Unsatisfactory actions of the West Front during the last half a year.
Beginning from 12th October till 1st April 1944 the West Front commanded by army general Sokolovsky conducted 11 operations in the Orsha and Vitebsk directions, namely:
Orsha operation 12th -18th October 1943
Orsha operation 21st -26th October 1943
Orsha operation 14th -19th November 1943
Orsha operation 30th November ? 2nd December 1943
Vitebsk operation 23rd December 1943 ? 6th January 1944
Bogushevsk operation 8th ? 24th January 1944
Vitebsk operation 3rd- 16th February
Local operation in the Orsha direction 22nd -25th February
Vitebsk operation 29th February ? 5th March 1944
Orsha operation 5th ? 9th March 1944
Bogushevsk operation 21st ? 29th March 1944
All these operations ended unsuccessfully and the front didn?t fulfill the tasks posed by Stavka. In all the operations the enemy defense wasn?t broken even as deep as a tactical depth, the operation ended at best with insignificant penetration in enemy defense with high losses of our troops.

The offensive in the Orsha 12-18 October ended with penetration 1-1,5 km deep. Our losses: killed ? 5 858 men, wounded ? 17 478. Total ? 23 336 men.
The offensive in the Orsha direction 21-26 October ? advance from 4 to 6 kilometers. Our losses: killed ? 4 787, wounded ? 14 315. Total ? 38 756 men.
The offensive in the Orsha direction 14-19 November ? advance from 1 to 4 kilometers. Our losses: killed ? 9 167, wounded - 29 589. Total ? 38 756 men.
The offensive in the Orsha direction 30 November ? 2 December ? penetration from 1 to 2 kilometers deep. Our losses: killed 5 611, wounded ? 17 259. Total ? 22 870 men.
The offensive in the Vitebsk direction 23 December ? 6 January ? advance 8-12 kilometers. The enemy retreated to the previously prepared positions. Our losses: killed ? 6 692 men, wounded ? 28 904 men. Total ? 25 189 men.
The offensive in the Bogushevsk direction 8-24 January ? penetration of the 2-4 kilometers depth. Our losses: killed ? 5 517 men, wounded ? 19 672 men. Total ? 25 189 men.
The offensive in the Vitebsk direction 3-16 February ? advance 3-4 kilometers. Our losses: 9 651 killed, 32 844 wounded. Total ? 42 295 men.
The local operation in the Orsha direction 22-25 February didn?t produce any results. In this operation the units of the 52nd Fortified Region were encircled and only with high losses the initial positions were recovered. Our losses: killed ? 1 288 men, wounded ? 4 479 men. Total ? 5 767 men.
The offensive in the Vitebsk direction 29 February ? 5 March ? advance from 2 to 6 kilometers. Our losses: killed ? 2 650 men, wounded ? 9 205 men. Total ? 11 855 men.
The offensive in the Bogushevsk direction 21-29 March ? penetration from 1 to 3,5 kilometers. Our losses: killed ? 9 207 men, wounded ? 30 828 men. Total ? 4 035 men.

As a result of these futile operations in the period from 12th October 1943 to 1st April 1944 the front lost 62 326 men killed, 219 419 wounded, and total as killed and wounded ? 281 745 men. If one adds to this number the losses on the passive sectors of the front, then in the period from October 1943 to April 1944 the front lost 330 587 men. Apart from this during the same period 53 283 sick arrived to hospitals from the troops of the West Front.

In the aforementioned operations from October 1943 to April 1944 the front spent a very large amount of ammunition, namely 7 261 wagon loads. During the whole year, between March 1943 and March 1944 the front spent 16 661 wagon loads. During the same period, i.e. the year the Belorussian Front spent 12 335 wagon loads, 1stUkrainian ? 10 945 wagon loads, 4th Ukrainian ? 8 463 wagon loads, all the other fronts spending less ammunition than the aforementioned ones. Thus the West Front spent far more ammunition than any other front.
The futile action of the West Front during the last half a year, high losses and high ammunition expenditure were not caused by enemy strength or insurmountable defense before the front, but solely by the unsatisfactory leadership by the front command. In all the operations the West Front always had a sizeable superiority in forces and means over the enemy that allowed to certainly count on success.
In the particular operations the forces ratio looked in the following way:

The Orsha operation 12-18 October 1943
Our forces. Total were concentrated for the operation: 19 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 8, in the second ? 11, a tank corps, a cavalry corps, 12 artillery brigades, 20 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 3 tank brigades, 6 tank and self-propelled regiments. Total 134 tanks. The artillery density from 150 to 200 pieces per kilometer
Enemy forces. Two infantry divisions, 3-5 artillery regiments and about 30 tanks. Later on were additionally committed: one infantry division, two motorized divisions and 3-4 artillery regiments.

Orsha operation 21-26 October 1943
Our forces. Concentrated for operation: 11 rifle divisions, of them 8 in the first echelon and 3 in the second; a tank corps, 13 artillery brigades, 19 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 2 tank brigades, 3 tank and self-propelled regiments. Total 172 tanks. Artillery density from 115 to 260 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 4 infantry divisions, one SS brigade, 6-7 artillery regiments and up to 60 tanks.

Orsha operation 14-19 November 1943
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 32 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 18, in the second ? 14; a tank corps, 16 artillery brigades, 23 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 4 tank brigades, 7 tank and self-propelled regiments. Total 410 tanks. Artillery density from 120 to 260 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 4 infantry divisions, 2 tank divisions, a SS brigade, up to 12 artillery regiments. Total up to 70 tanks.

Orsha operation 30 November ? 2 December 1943
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 34 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 24, in the second ? 10; 13 artillery brigades, 24 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 4 tank brigades, 10 tank and self-propelled regiments. Total 284 tanks. Artillery density from 120 to 170 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 4 infantry divisions, 2 tank divisions, up to 10 artillery regiments. Total about 200 tanks.

Vitebsk operation 23 December 1943 ? 6 January 1944
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 11 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 5, in the second echelon ? 6; a tank corps, 10 artillery brigades, 4 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 4 tank brigades, 5 self- propelled regiments. Total 147 tanks. Artillery density 110 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 2 infantry divisions, up to 5 artillery regiments and about 60 tanks. By the end of the operation 3 more divisions were committed.

Bogushevsk operation 8-24 January 1944
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 16 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 11, in the second echelon ? 5; a tank corps, 12 artillery brigades, 6 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 6 tank brigades, 8 self- propelled regiments. Total 295 tanks.

Vitebsk operation 3 ? 16 February
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 16 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 9, in the second echelon ? 7; a tank corps, 15 artillery brigades, 9 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 2 tank brigades, 2 self- propelled regiments. Total 129 tanks. Artillery density from 115 to 140 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 5 infantry divisions, up to 9 artillery regiments and about 140 tanks. Later on about 2 infantry regiments were additionally committed.

Vitebsk operation 29 February ? 5 March
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 15 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 13, in the second echelon ? 2 and a rifle brigade; 7 artillery brigades, 10 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 6 tank brigades. Total 87 tanks.
Enemy forces. 5 infantry divisions, 10 artillery regiments and about 90 tanks.

Orsha operation 5 ? 9 March 1944
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 8 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 3, in the second echelon ? 5; 6 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 1 tank brigade, 2 tank regiments. Total 80 tanks. Artillery density 100 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 1 infantry division, 3 artillery regiments and up to 35 tanks.

Bogushevsk operation 21-29 March 1944
Our forces. Concentrated for the operation: 9 rifle divisions, of them in the first echelon ? 6, in the second echelon ? 3; 6 GHQ reserve artillery regiments, 5 tank brigades, 4 self- propelled regiments. Total 73 tanks. Artillery density from 100 to 150 pieces per kilometer.
Enemy forces. 2 infantry divisions, up to 5 artillery regiments and up to 40 tanks.

Thus in all the operation the West Front had an evident superiority over the enemy. Despite of this, all the operations were unsuccessful and beginning from October the front didn?t gain ground.
As a result of the stalemate on the West Front and advance of the neighboring fronts a very unfavorable configuration of the frontline on the Smolensk-Minsk direction was formed. The enemy on that direction holds the salient directed to our side of 150 kilometers depth.
Such a situation causes an adverse affect on the neighboring fronts, allowing the enemy to have his aviation in the triangle Lepel-Mogilev-Minsk and act with it against the rear of the Belorussian and Baltic Fronts along the shortest lines. From the side of the West Front the enemy is closest to Moscow.

Then followes a long-long text describing various shortcomings in the organization of the combat actions.

Michate
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Post by Michate » 24 Dec 2007 13:19

K.-H. Frieser in the recently published official history ("Das deutsche Reich und der zweite Weltkrieg", Vol. 8) makes heavy use of this document in the chapter on Vitebsk and the highway battles. Very interesting to read excerpts of its actual text.

GaryD
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Post by GaryD » 24 Dec 2007 14:58

Art, is the full document on the Internet anywhere, or can you upload a scan of it?

Art
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Post by Art » 24 Dec 2007 15:25


konev
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Post by konev » 24 Dec 2007 22:07

Art,

The link does not work. It takes the person to a Russian page, but there is no document there.

I think the question marks are screwing it up.

konev

konev
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Post by konev » 24 Dec 2007 22:12

Art and all,

Found it on the site... Really buried in it.

http://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%94%D0 ... 2_11.04.44

konev

Art
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Post by Art » 25 Dec 2007 13:26

Sorry, I didn't check the link, it's a problem with cyrillic letters. Thanks again, konev.

skoblin
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Post by skoblin » 07 Jan 2008 21:02

Hello Caraqchi

Two videos of Vitebsk area in early 1944 from my site.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=MyzPe8Gmy ... F9&index=1
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=ouKo2FRg4 ... F9&index=4

skoblin

Art
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Re: winter battle on witebsk 43-44

Post by Art » 15 Sep 2008 13:42

Some maps from the memoir by general Galitskiy (commander of the 3rd Shock and 11th Guards Armies in 1943-44), pertaining to operations in the area north of Vitebsk in 1943-44. I took them from the scanned version of the book and their quality are far from ideal, unfortunately.
The plan of the Nevel operation, the 3rd Shock Army, October 1943:
Image
Actions of the 3rd Shock Army in Nevel operation, October 1943:
Image
Operations west of Nevel in October 1943, 1st and 2nd Baltic Fronts:
Image
Decision of the 1st Baltic Front commander for Gorodok operation, December 1943:
Image
Plan of Gorodok operation, 11th Guards Army/1st Baltic Front, December 1944 (large colour map):
Image
11th Guards Army in Gorodok operation, 13-21 December 1943:
Image
Actions of the 11th Guards Army north of Vitebsk, 22 December 1943 - 10 February 1944
Image

Jan-Hendrik
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Re: winter battle on witebsk 43-44

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 14 Jun 2009 13:02

Does anyone have maps of the sector 87.ID fought in December 1943? I mean ones readable for "westerners"?

Jan-Hendrik

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